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Last-click Attribution: What is It & How Can Businesses Use It?

Last click attribution model

In today’s business world, marketing has become more complicated because there are many ways to reach customers. This makes marketing attribution important and a popular topic. But, there are different types of attribution models to choose from, each with its own features. So, it’s essential to understand these models.

And we’re here to help you. In this blog, we’ll start with a common attribution model: Last-click attribution. We’ll explain what it is, when should you use it, and how to create a report using it. Let’s get ready to explore this marketing attribution together!

What is last-click attribution?

The last-click attribution (Or last-touch attribution) is one of the earliest forms of attribution model. Hence, it’s really popular among businesses when they implement data marketing. Put simply, using last-click attribution means that you give all the credit for a sale to the last thing customers did before they bought something. 

For example, let’s say someone saw your ads on Instagram and clicked on them. Then, they went to your website and signed up for your newsletter. A week later, they came back to your website through the email newsletter and decided to buy your products. If you’re using the last-click attribution model, it gives 100% of the credit for the sale to the email newsletter because that was the last thing the person did before making the purchase

Last-click attribution model

First-click vs last-click attribution model

Last-click attribution is the flip side of the well-known first-click attribution model we talked about before. Despite the difference in names, their core mechanism remains quite similar.

The first-click attribution model puts all the credit on the initial touchpoint of the customer journey. In contrast, the last-click attribution model allocates all the credit to the final touchpoint.

For instance, consider our customer journey: Instagram ad > Email newsletter > Conversion. If you’re using the first-click attribution model, all the credit goes to the Instagram ad. On the other hand, with the last-click attribution model, all the credit is attributed to the email newsletter.

Advantages of using last-click attribution

Last-click attribution is one of the most popular attributions among businesses. It also appears as the default option (Which is seen as First Interaction within this platform) when you want to generate conversions report within Google Analytics. So, let’s look at some of the main reasons for this hype: 

advantages of using last-click attribution

Simple to use and understand 

Last-click attribution is a simple way to see which ads work best. It basically says the last thing people click on before buying something is what convinced them to buy it. If a Facebook ad is the last thing they click on, then it’s the most effective channel that you need to focus on. So, you don’t have to think too much about all the other stuff they clicked on before. This makes things easy to understand and helps businesses save time.

Understand better the last stage of the customer journey

One awesome thing about the last-click attribution model is that it tells you which channels play a big role in the final part of the customer decision journey. But wait, there’s more! It also helps you dig deeper to figure out what exactly makes those channels work and drive sales.

Here’s an example: With this model, you find out that email newsletters are the channel that often shows up just before a new conversion is recorded. Now, you can dig deeper and ask, ‘What kind of content do they actually like in those emails? Then, you use that info to make your conversion-stage marketing even better and sell more stuff.

Save budget for analyzing activities 

If your business wants to do data-driven marketing but is on a tight budget, last-click attribution is still a solid option. You don’t need fancy analytics tools or software; it can do the job without all that. Thanks to this characteristic, it’s still a really reliable choice for many businesses. 

Last-click attribution problems 

While last-click attribution is easy to grasp and quite popular among businesses, it does have some issues, especially in today’s world where marketing happens across multiple channels. So, before you dive into using this attribution model for your analysis, make sure you’ve got a good handle on these drawbacks:

Problems with last-click attribution

Underestimate the contribution of other touchpoints  

The downside of the last-click attribution model is that it kinda ignores the other channels in the customer journey. So, you’ll end up missing out on insights into how these marketing channels are influencing customers and working together to make that final sale happen. Let’s look at an example to see why you need to consider other touchpoints and channels besides the last one. 

Let’s say you’re running an online electronics store. With the last-click attribution model, you notice that most of your sales come from email newsletters. So, you think that email newsletter is the most important channel that boosts your final sales. However, what you can’t see is that those customers find you through Google ads first, and then they come to your website and sign up for your newsletter. Hence, you must still spread your efforts to all marketing channels that contribute to your customer journey to get the best result. 

Limit insights into customers’ needs  

Last-click attribution gives credit to the last thing a customer clicked on before buying. But here’s the catch: it simplifies customer behavior too much. It forgets that shoppers usually research before buying. If you only look at that final step, you’re missing out on their whole journey. And that could mean you’re not offering enough help when they’re searching for what they need.

Let’s stick with our online electronics store example. Electronics are something people usually research a lot before buying. They look for info on places like social media and Google search. But if you rely solely on last-click attribution, which says newsletters are the best for sales, you might only pay attention to newsletters. The problem is customers won’t find your brand elsewhere, and you won’t have enough info about your customers to understand them better through analysis.

Not suitable for long-term goals 

If you’re looking for further insights to improve aspects of your business such as brand awareness, customer loyalty, or advocacy, then Last-click attribution might not be a good option for you. This is because it only measures the last interaction a customer had with a brand, and does not take into account the overall customer journey.

How to create a report with last-click attribution model?

To whip up a last-click attribution report, you’ll need a user-friendly attribution tool that suits your needs. Luckily, there are plenty of these tools out there, helping businesses churn out those last-click attribution reports.

Now, let’s dive into the basics of crafting attribution reports on a few key channels:

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4, or GA4 for short, gives you the flexibility to tweak your report according to your specific requirements. Creating a last-click attribution report in GA4 is a breeze. Just head to Admin > Property > Attribution settings, and select your preferred model from the drop-down menu in the Reporting attribution model section. This allows you to view the data and easily identify which channel is shining the brightest in your customer journey.

Google analytics 4

Facebook Attribution

Another widely used tool for advertisers to gauge their marketing campaigns is Facebook. By default, Facebook employs the last-click attribution model, which means only the last interaction gets the credit – no impressions or earlier touchpoints are acknowledged. To make the most of your report, it’s essential to grasp Facebook’s attribution settings.

Currently, Facebook allows you to generate a last-click attribution report within a time window ranging from 1 to 7 days, depending on the settings you choose for your report.

Nestads Marketing Attribution

NestAds attribution is an incredibly efficient tool that can greatly assist businesses in generating last-click attribution reports and extracting valuable insights from their customers’ journey data. It offers three main report options: General report, Platform report, and Campaign report, allowing you to tailor your views and obtain the specific data you require.


This tool is particularly well-suited for e-commerce businesses, as it even presents a timeline of all customer interactions for the orders you receive in your store.

Moreover, in a time when both Google and Apple are tightening restrictions on link tracking for advertisers, NestAds stands out by enabling you to accurately track the performance of your campaigns. So, why not give NestAds marketing attribution a shot and harness the power of data-driven marketing for your business?

When should last-click attribution be used? 

All marketing attribution models out there come with their pros and cons. Whether you should go with last-click attribution or something else depends on a few factors like these:

  • Your marketing goals: Your marketing goals matter a lot. If you want to see just the final step where customers buy, last-click attribution is fine. But if you want the full picture of how customers journey to that point, a fancier attribution model might be better.
  • Your budget: Last-click attribution is pretty simple and doesn’t cost much to set up. But if you want something more advanced, you might have to spend on fancier tools or software.
  • Your available tools: Finally, with last-click attribution, you need to track the last channel or touchpoint a customer used before making a purchase. If your tools can’t get this data, then you can’t use last-click attribution

If what you’re after doesn’t quite match what this model offers, don’t worry. There are plenty of other marketing attribution models you can try. In fact, our attribution solution has one called NestAds Marketing Attribution based on the last-click attribution. This model lets you keep tabs on the last click for each channel, so all your channels still count in your analytics. And guess what? We’ve got a bunch of other options in our app for you to explore, so go ahead and check it out now!



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